Telling your parents you want to work in the music industry used to be cause for alarm, with exclamations of ‘what have I done wrong!’ …’why can’t I have a lawyer?’ This outdated belief that a career in the music industry is unrealistic or a narrow pathway is just one of the misconceptions about an industry that provides up to 9% of Australia’s annual GDP.

According to Music Australia (2017) Australia’s live contemporary music industry generates revenues of $1.5-$2 billion annually. So far from being an unrealistic career, working in the music industry, whether on stage, in production, in the studio, in media or in event creation or music management – is a pathway to a dynamic career where hundreds of choices and opportunities are available. Southern Cross University has long been an industry leader, creating and innovating educational pathways that best support careers in music.

To facilitate conversation and information around the changes and opportunities presented by the Music industry Southern Cross University will be presenting a Music Careers Symposium at the Lismore Campus on Friday 16 August from 9am – 3pm. The symposium is open to everyone and features musicians, creatives, academics, festival and arts directors and media specialists sharing their knowledge in this one day think tank that redefines what it means to be a contemporary musician. A lot has changed since the Beatles complained of a Hard Day’s Night!

The day will be opened by Southern Cross Contemporary Music Course Coordinator Dr Matt Hill, with a keynote giving a Music Careers overview by Professor of New Music from the Qld Conservatorium, Vanessa Tomlinson. Straddling fields as diverse as percussion performance to composition and festival direction, Vanessa’s career has contributed significantly to research, environmental performance and acoustic and intercultural music.

The Symposium will also feature panel sessions that cover topics such as ‘Producing Your Track to Stand Out from the Pack’, ‘Learning the Language: What is the future of Music Education’ to ‘Making Social Media work for you and how to build an audience in the 2020s. Festival Director Glenn Wright is joined by Lynnette Irwin from Brisbane’s International Jazz Festival and Melbourne Women’s Jazz Festival to discuss running your own Music Festival…other creative innovators will be looking at how to access income streams and grants, along with starting your own venue.

Finally, Industry leaders will be looking at how to best support more women to achieve parity across the variety of areas in the music industry.

Vanessa Tomlinson, Peter Wood, Lynette Irwin, Kate Stroud, Helen Russell, Emily Holler, Cindy Jensen, Norman Parkhill, Glenn Ward, Glenn Wright, Mandy Nolan, Ed Foster, Todd Hardy, Anita Bellman, Scott Finch, Christian Pyle

Music Careers Symposium
9am – 3pm, Friday 16 August 2019
Southern Cross University, Lismore Campus, D Block.
Cost: Free (bookings essential –

For interviews and information please contact Mandy Nolan on 0422701680 or email